The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) report new car registrations in the UK in September were 469,696 – the highest ever.
We’ve got used to new car registrations constantly growing in recent years, and September was no different, with a total of 469,696 new cars registered – a record for September – and passing the 2 million mark for 2016 in the process.
Of course, September sales are one of the biggest in the year because of car buyers’ fixation with the plate change, but a year on year increase of 1.6 per cent is a healthy and sustainable level of growth – just as long as you don’t listen to the doom mongers.
True, on the negative side there will be some price adjustments in new car prices as a result of the Pound’s decline after the Brexit vote, but that should be less of a problem for cars made in the UK – depending on the location of their supply chain.
As for Brexit, it’ll be at least two years before there’s any change in tariffs with Europe, but even if it’s the 10% currently paid by non EU imports it’ll have less effect than the Pound’s decline, although it could see sales heading to cars manufactured in the UK.
The biggest loser from that scenario will be Ford – which produces no vehicles in the UK – but firms like Nissan, Honda, Vauxhall (although the bulk of Vauxhalls are imported Opels), MINI, Toyota and JLR could see a bit of a UK sales boom. We’ll see.
As for the details of September’s sales, diesel sales were up a bit and petrol sales down a bit. AFV (hybrid, EV etc) were up a lot, private sales fell a bit and fleet sales rose a bit more.
And the Fiesta was, for now, the best-seller.